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Forecasters predict busy, active 2013 hurricane season

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center has called it an "extremely active" forecast that will begin June 1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center has called it an "extremely active" forecast that will begin June 1.
NOAA satellite imagery of Superstorm Sandy on Nov. 28, 2012. (Source: NOAA/NASA) NOAA satellite imagery of Superstorm Sandy on Nov. 28, 2012. (Source: NOAA/NASA)

(RNN) - Brace yourselves.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's Climate Prediction Center has called the forecast 2013 North Atlantic hurricane season "extremely active." The season begins June 1.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook predicts a 70 percent chance that 13 to 20 storms will be named; from those, seven to 10 could become hurricanes and three to six of those could develop into major hurricanes.

Seasonal averages usually predict 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major storms, according to NOAA. The list does not predict the number of hurricanes that will make landfall in the U.S.

"With the devastation of Sandy fresh in our minds, and another active season predicted, everyone at NOAA is committed to providing life-saving forecasts in the face of these storms and ensuring that Americans are prepared and ready ahead of time." said NOAA acting administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan.

Possible reasons for the active forecasts are climate patterns, above normal temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and a quelled El Nino. El Nino is a weather phenomenon, beginning in the Pacific Ocean and has a strong impact on the climate of the surrounding countries for a period of three to six months.

The 21-name list is a part of a rotating list of names chosen by the World Meteorological Organization, and storms will be named alphabetically. Storms receive names when they reach winds of 39 mph or more, are called hurricanes at 74 mph or more and are major hurricanes at winds of 111 mph or more and are ruled Category 3, 4, or 5.

Names are retired when storms become recognized with mass devastation. The most recent names to be retired are Sandy in 2012, Irene in 2011 and Igor and Tomas in 2010.

After a particularly active hurricane season, five names were retired in 2005, including Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast.

The 2013 Eastern Pacific hurricane season forecasts a 55 percent chance of a below average season, and estimate a 70 percent chance of 11 to 16 named storms, five to eight hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes. Tropical Storm Alvin was the first tropical storm of the year on May 16.

New this season is the National Weather Service will issue storm warnings once storms have gone post-tropical, or no longer tropical cyclones, like Superstorm Sandy was last fall.

"As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it's important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline. Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall," said Sullivan.

Memorial Day weekend is also the beginning of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, sponsored by NOAA held May 26 to June 1. The week provides tips, video and PSAs and features answers from Federal Emergency Management Association and hurricane experts.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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